My name is Deacon Gerald (Jerry) Koopmann and I was ordained a deacon in October 1997. As a deacon I visit the sick and hospitalized, assist at Sunday liturgies, perform baptisms, officiate at marriages outside of Mass, help with funerals and have been involved with service trips since my ordination.
My most meaningful ministries as a deacon are providing a presence of the church by praying with families before they leave for the funeral liturgy and, even though one does not need to be ordained to work with engaged couples, being a Sponsor Couple is one ministry that my wife and I enjoy doing together. My greatest reward comes from service trips because they are one way to help people who are unable, financially or physically, to help themselves. They have given me far more than I have ever given or done for them.
My brother Tom and I were dairy farmers together before I retired in 2007. My wife Joann and I have three children, Wade, Renee and Karla. We have 8 grandchildren and one great grandson. Family is very important to us and we enjoy spending time with the grandkids. My favorite hobby is picking blackcaps in the timber. I enjoy gardening and helping my brother-in-law make wine.
As I am getting older and closer to retirement as a deacon, I pray that I have been an example and an inspiration for others to consider a vocation to the Permanent Diaconate. The diaconate has provided many blessings for me and my family.